By Macy Derrien. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Saturday, May 18th, 2019 - 05:09:18 AM.
When a more in-depth cleaning is required, use a cleaning method appropriate to the finish on your floor. If your floor has a glossy finish, it means that polyurethane, or a water-based urethane, or a similar finish has been used to form a protective barrier over the hardwood. If it has a matte finish, it means that the floor is protected with a penetrating seal of oil and/or wax. On neither of these finishes is water an acceptable cleaning agent, but both of them can accept a surface, damp-mop cleaning, which means the mop is not wet but only damp to the touch. You are cleaning only the surface and not using enough water to penetrate even the oiled-and-waxed hardwood. When using a damp mop on oil and waxed hardwood, you can add a little neutral ph hardwood floor cleaner to the water before dipping the mop into it. A floor with a protective glossy barrier can accept a generic hardwood floor cleaner providing it doesn't contain any wax or oil.
Engineered Hardwood Floors – Engineered hardwood floors are a laminate built from multiple ply layers with a thick hardwood veneer wear layer on top. The veneer layer is available in almost any exotic hardwood species with exotic color and grain patterns. Engineered hardwood floors are more resistant to moisture than natural wood flooring, which adds to their appeal because they can be installed in damp regions of the country and in basements with relatively high humidity levels. Some brands of engineered hardwood floors have a thin wear layer that can be recoated but you cannot sand the floor to stain it or completely refinish it. These less expensive brands have an expected average life span of 30-40 years depending on usage patterns. Other brands and styles have much thicker wear layers (5/32 inches) that can be sanded and refinished up to as many as 5 times with an average expected life span of from 60-80 years. Thicker wear layers are sawn from the log whereas thinner layers are scraped or sliced. High tech glue is the bonding agent.
The key factor to saving the floors that have been flooded is to get them dry as fast as possible. As soon as possible after the flooding event, you MUST remove everything from your hardwood floors, not just carpet and rugs, but furniture as well. Get as many fans and blowers as you can find and point them downward so that they will dry out the hardwood. As soon as you see a dry spot, move the fan. Be sure to open the house up to the outside so that all this water vapor you are creating will be able to escape from inside the home. If your relative humidity is 50% or less, you can dry the floors out much faster by using fans to blow this hot, drier air into the house along with the floor blowers. (do not do this on high humidity days, it is not as effective). You will have to blow the floors until they are dry, which may take many hours, even days.
Because wood wicks water, as soon as you create a dry spot, the dry spot will start to pull in moisture from the wet wood around it. This greatly increases the rate of drying the floor over not moving the fans around. Many hardwood floors are installed on a ”bed” that creates an air gap under the wood slats. If this is the case for your floors, try to create a funnel with a piece of plastic or canvas and force air underneath the floors along any cracks you can find. Use duct tape to tape the funnel to the fan, and an office stapler to staple it over the crack you want to dry out. Take your time, failure to let the floors dry completely out will set up conditions for mold to grow.
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